On January 10, 2018, BEST held a joint press conference with the Port of Seattle, announcing a partnership between BEST and the Port. This partnership is leading the nation in human trafficking prevention efforts being implemented at a major international travel hub, and it will implement a new strategy to aggressively work to eradicate human trafficking efforts in the Puget Sound region with a strategic plan that was jointly developed by BEST and the Port of Seattle. The plan will focus on four main areas:
With over 45 million travelers moving through the Port of Seattle each year, this joint partnership between BEST and the Port is an opportunity to help break the cycle of human trafficking in Washington, which was estimated to have the 14th highest call volume to the National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2015.
“Human trafficking is not just a global issue, it’s a local issue,” said Courtney Gregoire, Port of Seattle Commission President. “The Port has been engaged in this topic for years, but now is the perfect opportunity to increase or regional leadership on this topic. As a major employer, an operator of an airport and maritime facilities, and a partner, we can do more to reduce demand, assist victims and raise public awareness.”
BEST is working diligently in this partnership to enhance employee training at the Port, and to help increase public awareness of the issue of human trafficking in and around The Port. The news conference on January 10 announced the partnership between BEST and the Port during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The press conference resulted in three print news articles, four radio segments, and one television news story on KOMO 4 News.